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IDE Problems

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Alan T Kelly
Advisor

IDE Problems

Hello all,
I have a ml330 g3 with two 40gig IDE drives setup in a Raid 1 config. The system uses the csb-6 raid controller to do so.

recently while analyzing system performance I discovered that my primary IDE controller is using DMA mode 2

I am certain that this shouldnt be the case - (should it not be using UDMA5) but have had no success in remedying the problem.

i have downloaded and installed all the latest Support Pack (psp-7.80.w2k3) but to no avail. I have downloaded BUT NOT USED the latest Proliant Firmware maintenance CD. (reason being im afriad that if there is some underlying problem i might exacerbate it??)

I have searched extensively but found no answer to how i should proceed to find the cause of, and remedy the problem?

attached is a pic of my setup and driver details.

any help greatly appreciated.
Alan



17 REPLIES
Andrew Young_2
Honored Contributor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi.

You primary IDE controller is probably connected to your CD ROM drive which why the bus speed downgraded to DMA mode 2. However you IDE drives themselves should be one a seperate bus so it shouldn't be a problem.

Regards

Andrew Y
Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Andrew,

and thanks for the speedy reply.

I just had a look inside and can confirm that the cabling IS setup exactly as per the server guidelines(see pic attached)excluding the third and fourth drives.

so any other ideas?
Al


Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

also,

please see attached for the full situation
Andrew Young_2
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Alan

Those connectors are for the LSI IDE RAID controller. The Primary IDE connector is the connector above the two shown in the diagram and you should find the CD ROM is connected into that.

What is the bus speed of the Dual Channel PCI IDE controller, as that is the one the disks should be connected to.

Regards

Andrew Y
Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Andrew,

could you explain what you mean by the "bus speed Dual Channel PCI IDE controller"

how do i find it?

Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Andrew,

could you explain what you mean by the "bus speed of the Dual Channel PCI IDE controller"

how do i find it?

Andrew Young_2
Honored Contributor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi

Sorry for the confusion I meant tranfer mode. The different DMA modes work at different transfwer rates amongst other things. The DMA mode will always revert back to that of the slowest device on that controller, the understanding being that all newer devices are backwards compatible and will adjust themselves downwards.

Regards

Andrew Y
Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Andrew,

neither the
Dual Channel PCI IDE controller
or the
CSB-6 ultra ata...

show any DMA mode

see attached
Andrew Young_2
Honored Contributor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Alan

At this stage I am out of ideas. However I'm 100 percent sure that your original concern that the DMA mode 2 was affecting your hard drive performance is not the case as they are on different controller paths.

I'm not sure if there is anyone else who can help you find the true DMA mode of those HDD's though. Unfortunately Windows is not my specialisation.

Regards

Andrew Y

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

thanks again for your help Andrew.

im pretty sure your right about the DMA2 being for the cd drive.

however i am still concerned that my hard drives arent functioning properly.

the reason being that it takes about 1 hour to back up 8gigs of data (yes 8) to an external usb disk (usb 2.0 7200 rpm)

whereas i recently set up another SBS installation (2 SATA drives, no RAID) and watched it back up 25 gigs in about 15 mins.

I realise theres a SATA Vs IDE performance difference, but should it possibly be anything like this sort of difference. I think not.

Is anyone out there backing up a similar config? are my times really slow or is this about right for an IDE RAID 1 setup?

Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

i should also add here that none of my HP Array configuration utilities work.

I dont know if this is correct, i dont see the csb-b in the list of supported controllers. but it is possibly there under another name??


Andrew Young_2
Honored Contributor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Alan.

With that performance loss I'm almost sure you are running into USB throughput put problems and not HDD issues. According to the HP site the ML330 G3 does not support USB disk drives. I suspect that the USB ports on that server are USB1.1 and not USB 2.0 athough I cannot get confirmation of this from any of my product lists.

To test the HDD's performance copy the 8Gb data from one folder to another. If its the disk the operation will be slow. My ATA100 test rig is at home unfortunately so I cannot duplicate that test immediately.

HTH

Andrew Y
Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Andrew,

yes your right about the ml330 only having usb 1.1 but I installed a 2.0 PCI card when I bought the server specifically for handling backups.

I really think I have performance issues with the drives in the server and am about to upgrade to RAID 1+0 so Id like to get to the bottom of it either way before I do.

thanks again,
AL
Andrew Young_2
Honored Contributor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Alan

There is one other situation that might be relevant where I have had performance problems on Windows, but this more the nature of the data and a Windows issue more than a hardware problem.

Where we have had a lot of data made up of small files but large numbers (1 Tb - 140 million+ files) we experienced large performance drop when doing sequential file reads. Apparently you will also get similar problems with a badly fragmented filesystem.

You are not running OS file system compression or encryption are you?

When doing the copy what is the level of the CPU utilisation in Task Manager?

HTH.

Andrew Y


Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Andrew,

no there are no fragmentation / compression / encryption issues.

anyway, i enabled write caching in the bios (i have an UPS) and i got a drastic improvemnt straight away.

tonight im going to upgrade the firmware as i think there are still improvments available (HP diagnostics is showing no UDMA or SMART on the drives) and if all goes well ill be upgrading to RAID 5 tomorrow.

I drop a note to close the thread tomorrow. but in the meantime thanks for all you help and keep up the good work.

Al

(PS I may well be disaster recovering tomorrow so keep an eye out in the threads for an 'ol friend, wont ya)
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

Hi Andrew,

Updated the bios / firmware last night and all went well. it didnt pick up any updates for the raid controller tho so im still stumped.

thanks again for all you help,
Al
Alan T Kelly
Advisor

Re: IDE Problems

my understanding of the situation has changed. i need a new line of attack.